Are you sitting down? Good. Call a friend, because I’m not sure you can handle this news on your own.
According to Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes, Jose Guillen will retire if he doesn’t receive a contract offer in the next week.
“Today I have authorized my agent to explore the market and see if there is any interest in an outfielder and designated hitter,” Guillen told ESPNdeportes.com on Tuesday from the Dominican Republic. “If in a week no offers, then I will retire permanently from baseball,” he added.
If Guillen was anything close to a desirable player, I believe we could call that an ultimatum. Sadly, he is not.
Guillen, who turns 35 in May, was bothered by a neck injury down the stretch last season and finished the regular season with just one hit over his final 21 at-bats. After he was left off the Giants’ postseason roster, we learned that Guillen allegedly had packages of human growth hormone (HGH) sent to an address registered to his wife in September. The case is still pending, but considering that MLB could still levy some sort of punishment down the road, it’s unlikely any team will want that headache.
If this is truly the end for Guillen, he’ll hang ’em up with a .270 lifetime batting average to go along with 214 home runs and 887 RBI over 14 major league seasons.
Jon Heyman reports that the Nationals are closing in on a deal with catcher Matt Wieters. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that it’s a two-year deal. UPDATE: Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is for two years, at $21 million. There is an opt-out for him after year one. He will get $10 million in 2017 and, if he returns in 2018, he’ll get $11 million.
Wieters was not expected to go this long without signing, but his market, which many thought would be robust, never materialized. The Nats had been rumored to be interested for months, but they were apparently waiting to swoop in late and get what one presumes will be a bargain.
Wieters, 30, finished last season hitting .243/.302/.409 with 17 home runs and 66 RBI in 464 plate appearances. The Nationals currently have Derek Norris and Jose Lobaton, so who falls where in the catcher fight in Washington is unclear, but one presumes that Wieters getting a two-year deal puts him at the top of the depth chart.
Ken Rosenthal has an interesting story up about Sergio Romo as he begins spring training with his new team, the Los Angeles Dodgers.
There is some fun stuff about his family, all Dodgers fans from southern California, but the more notable stuff is about Romo himself, who has dealt with a lot more than has been reported over the past couple of seasons. The loss of three of his four grandparents is a big one, as it has thrust the mantle of head of the family on Romo in ways that he was not fully prepared for. There are also allusions to personal and psychological problems Romo has experienced — there is a vague suggestion of alcohol or maybe just late nights out and perhaps depression, but he is not specific about it — which he worked on with the help of friends and teammates on the Giants and which he now has overcome.
There’s always more going on the lives of baseball players than we as fans know.